Conor Kelly, President of Diablo Precision, Inc.
In 1988, I started in the machining industry as a driver for a Santa Clara machine shop. On my own time, daily before and after work I read the CNC Programming manual and observed how they did things in the shop. With time and a lot of hard work, I progressed from driver to loading & operating machines.
Eventually I became the company's top programmer. I took the most challenging jobs because I could learn the most from them. I worked 16-18 hour days, every day they’d let me. For 10 years I moved between a few different machine shops, handling everything from machining jobs to programming to management. In each company I concentrated on optimizing all areas and eliminating waste. When finished I moved on to the next challenge.
After that, I became part owner of a Santa Clara machine shop. The company was in rough shape when I joined; they were 2 years behind on machinery payments and late on all orders, with a terrible quality record. I brought them out of it and made them their customers’ #1 supplier. We went to $7 million in sales per year.
In 2004 I started Diablo Precision, Inc. with a partner (who has since left). Starting a new business was a whole new level of challenge—day shift in Santa Clara, night shift here at Diablo. Plus, I had a family.
When we started, we had really long days. Sometimes I would sleep at the shop with my head leaning against a machine. That way if it stopped for any reason, it would wake me up and I could continue production.
In the years since I’ve learned a lot about how to run a successful machining business. We chose to use domestically-sourced materials, because they’re better suited to high quality parts manufacture and regulatory compliance. We add machines organically, based on customer demand. We make every effort to optimize our machines’ 24-hour operation (see our Greening a Machine Shop page for how we do it).
I was quoted on American Machinist.com discussing my work philosophy:
"My philosophy has always been to do better than the customer is asking for, which is why we have the high-end inspection equipment. When a customer's print reads +/- 0.001-in. tolerances, I treat them as +/- 0.0005 in. because potential quality issues can cost me the job."
This is what drives me to make Diablo Precision, Inc. a success. This is the quality our customers have come to expect from our product.
You're welcome to see it for yourself. Contact Us to speak with me.